“The US forces surrounded the village of Mazraa near Baiji and detained five children under 10 years old, calling on the residents by loudspeakers to hand over several other children showed on TV channels celebrating the killing of US soldiers after roadside blast last week,” a police source from Baiji told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

(Actually, this is not the first similar atrocity I read of, and let’s not forget the destruction of Fallujah either.)

The things to realise is: 1) forget about preventing civil war – this occupation can’t do differently than cause more harm than good, 2) the US can’t win even for itself, because the guerillas, contrary to US propaganda that wants all of them viewed as a unified Sunni terrorist group under the leadership of Zarqawi, have strong local support – if you wonder why, you underestimate the media blackout regarding the Western armies’ conduct in Iraq (and haven’t seen these statistics and such graphs).
Below I quote the whole article; but before that, I point out that there is even fighting between nationalist guerillas and anti-Shi’a fanatics (but, as the blogger does in my link, you have to peel away the spin and creative editing WaPo loaded on that news).

US troops held five children as hostages to demand handover of insurgents near a northern Iraqi town on Tuesday, police said.

“The US forces surrounded the village of Mazraa near Baiji and detained five children under 10 years old, calling on the residents by loudspeakers to hand over several other children showed on TV channels celebrating the killing of US soldiers after roadside blast last week,” a police source from Baiji told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The US troops threatened to sweep the village by Wednesday morning to detain the other children and suspected insurgents, he said.

The US military, however, said they had no information about the incident.

Last week, four US soldiers were killed and six others wounded in a roadside bomb blast that hit their patrol near the northern oil refinery city of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad.

An Iraqi police source in the nearby Tikrit city said insurgents struck the US patrol with several roadside bombs on a road in al-Mazraa village near Baiji before they attacked them with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire.

Two US Humvees and a larger armored vehicle were also destroyed in the attack, said the police source.

(Source: xinhua)